A central European rabbinical group is calling on Apple Inc. to remove a mobile app version of the notoriously forged anti-Semitic document, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”
The Conference of European Rabbis, a centralized organization based in Belgium that represents Orthodox Jewish congregations across Europe, has asked the producer of the popular iPhone to terminate the sale of an Arabic-language version of “The Protocols” that is offered through its iTunes service. The rabbis believe that a readily accessible app version of the scurrilous screed would be newly popularized by tech-savvy racists and peddlers of anti-Jewish conspiracies.
“‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ can and should be available for academics to study in its proper context,” stated the group’s president, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, “but to disseminate such hateful invective as a mobile app is dangerous and inexcusable.”
The infamous document, which was originally published in Russia and then spread across Europe around the beginning of the 20th century, offers alleged “evidence” that there is a secret Jewish conspiracy to control the entire world. While it has been thoroughly disproved, the “Protocols” continues to be highlighted by neo-Nazis and other anti-Semitic extremists who seek to promote Jew-hatred.
The app, which is produced by the Innovation Group, does include a disclaimer that “The Protocols” has been debunked as a forgery, noting that “according to many historians, these writings are a hoax.” It includes mention of a 1921 investigation by the Times of London as well as a series of French articles that examined the mechanics of the fraud. Nevertheless, Rabbi Goldschmidt said the way it was being sold for 99 cents per download onto a mobile communications device put it into the category of a commentary that was aimed at “propagating hatred.”
Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s information minister, concurred with the rabbis’ sentiment, opining that Apple should not be granting the inflammatory material a spot on iTunes. “They wouldn’t allow pedophilia and pornography on their networks,” Edelstein told The Associated Press. “They shouldn’t allow xenophobia, anti-Semitism or racism.”
In Goldschmidt’s opinion, this is “the first mobile version of the famous anti-Semitic work.”